Fungicides on Corn in 2020…A Real Game Changer
By Jerry Hartsock & Dakota Miller
Cutting Edge Consulting and Research Services
Our longstanding reasons/criteria to use foliar fungicides at AgVenture are as follows:
(in order of importance)
- Increased yield
- VIA STRESS ALLEVIATION (heat and drought, wind, cold, hail, etc.)
- Greatly improved standability
- Improved efficiency of feeding from available nutrients
- Longer grain fill period
- Disease control/suppression
- High yield environments, continuous corn, etc.
We are generally seeing 20-35 bpa increases with fungicides applied at R1. Past years of data have shown the addition of a V6-V8 application followed by a R1 application increased yields by another 6-10 bpa more. This year with that additional early fungicide application we are seeing that increased to an 8-11 bpa gain.
Numerous reports suggest adding foliar Nitrogen and Boron, insecticide, etc. at R1 has taken yields 25-40 bpa higher. If these various programs also helped eliminate or reduce stalk breakage or weak shanks and thus ear droppage, yields improved even more by NOT having 10-30+ bpa field losses of unharvested ears. Gray Leaf Spot and Northern Corn Leaf Blight disease pressure as a whole was much less than prior years and/or came in late. Southern Rust was an issue in the southern part of the Corn Belt (south of the I-70 corridor) and needs to be handled with its own program when it is prevalent to address issues that stretch well into August.
The products providing most of those results mentioned above were Trivapro®, Headline Amp®, and generic versions of Quilt Xcel®. The increased longevity of control of Trivapro and two new products (Miravis Neo and Veltyma™) should lead to even more increased yield in the future. Delaro® appears to work better in the East and when disease pressure is more prevalent.
Here at AgVenture we have seen the best responses from foliar fungicides when we do the following:
- Start with an excellent uniform stand (90%+ N.E.P.S.)
- Provide early and safe weed control
- Have good fertility including top-notch Nitrogen management all season long
- Using elite fungicide products applied at the optimum time
- Consider Foliar N, micros, and insecticide if needed or warranted through tissue testing and scouting
Fungicides Add Yield Boost in Soybeans, too!
By Jeff Shaner
AgVenture Soybean Product Manager
Jerry and Dakota are correct (of course!): a fungicide application, or two, made money for corn growers again in the 2020 crop year. Many find the decision to pull the trigger on that to be fairly easy and obvious, with Gray Leaf Spot, Northern Corn Leaf Blight, Southern Rust and even Tar Spot being so noticeable and noticeably harmful.
What isn’t so obvious is what to do about a fungicide application in soybeans. Most of the “visual” soybean diseases (like Sudden Death Syndrome, Phytophthora Root Rot, Sclerotinia White Mold and Brown Stem Rot) are not controlled by an over-the-top fungicide trip. Plus the downside of waiting until you see a problem, like Frogeye Leaf Spot for example, is…well, you already have a problem.
While discussing on-farm soybean performance with Corey in southern Indiana a few weeks ago, he gave me this tidbit: In several observations on his own farms, a fungicide application gave him a 10 bpa advantage. Wow! That is significant. But was it a local issue, or something relevant to others as well?
I asked Mike, who farms 200 miles north of Corey, what his experience was on this matter. “Definitely. Fungicide on our soybean crop made us at least 9 bpa this year.”
Jim in central Iowa: “We use a combined approach of fungicide, insecticide and micros across the board. We easily saw a double-digit bump with that package. Was it the disease control, the insect control, the nutrition boost, or the stress relief during that hot dry second half of the summer due to all three? Hard to say. But the program works.”
Upon hearing these contributions from others, Jordan in central Illinois piled on the validation. “I can absolutely attest to everything they are saying. Multiple customers of ours saw that same yield advantage solely from a fungicide trip.”
Talk to enough growers about soybean fungicide application and you will most assuredly hear someone say “Ya, I tried that once and I didn’t really see any difference. So now I just don’t mess with it.”
Why am I a seed product manager promoting fungicide use? This happens to be today’s topic, but in-season care is one of the top pillars of the AgVenture Maximum Profit System™ and it is enacted in dozens of such decisions. We want you to have the best experience possible with our products.
The 2021 crop year is on its way people. It will have its own personality and it will not be just like any other year before it. Let’s take a Maximum Profit approach to in-season management week by week and month after month on all of your AgVenture soybean acres and consider a fungicide application to be a vital partner of yours.
Somebody is going to harvest that extra 10 bushels of your soybean crop. Will it be you, or the pests?